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The Anglo-American new world order from Wilson to Bush (Second edition)
Editor: Andrew Williams

This book explores the way in which the Anglo-American new world order (NWO) debate changed by 9/11, and the encouragement this has given to the 'neoconservatives' or 'neocons' within the George W. Bush Administration. It examines the policy-making process as it developed before the Versailles Conference of 1919. An extensive literature exists on the 'lessons of Versailles' and particularly on the 'failure' of the League of Nations (LON), one that started even before the signature of the Treaty of Versailles. The book then explores how the Conference and the LON attempted to frame the immediate problems of the post-war period. It shows how NWO architects' thinking developed in what might be called the area of 'global security' from the period of the First World War until the present. The clear evidence is that the American thinking on the NWO had a huge impact in Britain's processes in the same direction. President Theodore Roosevelt shared a deep suspicion of British motives for the post-war settlement in line with most Americans. He attributed blame for the inter-war crisis as much to British and French intransigence and balance of power politics at Versailles as to German aggression. The results of the Versailles settlement hung like a cloud over Allied relationships during the Second World War and gave a powerful impetus in American circles for an attitude of 'never again'. The variety of historical archival material presented provided the background to the current and historical American obsession with creating the world order.

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Andrew Williams

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explains the diplomatic history and contemporaneous literature about the genesis of the 'new world order' (NWO) of the twentieth century. It examines both the motivations and actions of the principal political actors and groups of decision makers during the periods 1914-19 and 1939-45. The book conveys the heart of what is an essentially 'Anglo-American' body of thought and practice. The twentieth century has also seen a voluminous literature reflecting on peace and war, which has been constantly drawn upon by leaders to feed their imaginations and whose hopes and aspirations they hoped to fulfil. Hence H.G. Wells or Norman Angell are as much to be acknowledged as creators of the new world order imaginings of 1918-19 as Woodrow Wilson.

in Failed imagination?
Andrew Williams

This chapter examines the policy-making process as it developed before the Versailles Peace Conference of 1919. The essence of the dilemma for Woodrow Wilson and his colleagues at Versailles was that there had never been an attempt at a 'worldwide settlement', and indeed there has never been one since. The First World War has arguably had the longest lasting and deepest effect of all the events of the twentieth century. The First World War acted as the catalyst for the emergence of an New World Order (NWO) agenda that has undergone constant evolution ever since while maintaining its basic essence. At the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919 the leaders of the West, Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau and Vittorio Orlando, had to try and resurrect the phoenix of peace and prosperity from the ashes of war.

in Failed imagination?
Andrew Williams

An extensive literature exists on the 'lessons of Versailles' and particularly on the 'failure' of the League of Nations (LON), one that started even before the signature of the Treaty of Versailles. This chapter explores the process of disillusionment as it comes out in the documentary record. It explores how the Paris Peace Conference and the LON attempted to frame the immediate problems of the post-war period. In a discussion of the emergence of new world order ideas, the Treaty of Versailles has provided fertile ground for explaining how ideas to 'improve' international relations can be seen as coming into collision with the realities of those relations. Given the centrality of Britain to the 'imagining', and indeed the implementation of Versailles, it is tempting to blame Lloyd George and the British delegation for any 'failure'.

in Failed imagination?
Andrew Williams

This chapter concentrates on thinking in the United States. It shows how the institutional and private thinking that had been such a feature of the preliminaries to the Versailles settlement were replicated during the Second World War. Neutrality and its extreme handmaiden, isolationism had always been a factor in American foreign policy, but were given reinforcement by the disgust felt by many Americans towards the Versailles settlement. The chapter also shows how they were differently articulated, in the United States but also in Britain. The United States was trying to create an new world order (NWO) based on liberal democratic forms of government and capitalist economic structures. The criterion for entry to the NWO 'club' of the post-war period was essentially to become one of accepting definitions of 'freedom' and 'justice' that were far more narrow than Franklin Delano Roosevelt had intended in the Atlantic Charter.

in Failed imagination?
Britain, 1940–43
Andrew Williams

This chapter shows the way in which official and non-official thinking in Britain drew up its agenda for the post-war period during the war. It examines, in somewhat less detail than for the United States, the machinery, practice and thinking of various key groupings within British official and non-official circles to show how they interacted. The chapter also shows how these processes chimed, or did not so agree, with thinking already described in the United States. Britain developed an approach to the future that was to have elements of harmony, but also elements of discord, with the American new world order (NWO). They were very suspicious initially of both the American plans for an NWO as a plot against socialism but persuaded themselves that Franklin Delano Roosevelt's commitment to the Atlantic Charter gave them a mandate to transform British society.

in Failed imagination?
Relationships and issues, 1941–45
Andrew Williams

This chapter aims to elucidate that policy process, particularly as it applied to the future of Germany and, by extension, the whole of Europe. It shows how the Allies interacted as they went about this policy-making process. The purpose of this is twofold: first to show that the resulting compromises in effect gave rise to tensions that were to be both creative and negative. Second, the aim is to show how the ideological tensions that became evident prepared the ground for the Cold War confrontation that was to follow Franklin Delano Roosevelt's death in April 1945. The chapter deals with the mechanisms of the new world order (NWO) planning process. The onset of the Cold War heralded the creation of what were essentially two 'NWOs', one under the aegis of the Soviet Union, the other dominated, but not exclusively controlled, by the United States.

in Failed imagination?
Andrew Williams

This chapter shows how new world order (NWO) architects thinking developed in what might be called the area of 'global security' from the period of the First World War until the present. One of the key Wilsonian principles encapsulated in the Fourteen Points was the creation of an international organisation that would help to solve the problems of what Inis Claude rightly calls an 'interstate' system. The chapter discusses the failure of the League of Nations (LON) and the problem of how to solve the security problems of Europe came a renewed belief in the idea of a global organisation. It focuses on what can be seen to be the enduring debates about security in the international organisation context, those on the causes of war and the conditions for peace. The chapter describes the mechanisms of the LON and United Nation (UN) agencies.

in Failed imagination?
Andrew Williams

The economic ideas of the new world order (NWO) had their roots in the classical liberal capitalist tradition of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This chapter examines the debates that come out of NWO thinking as to the importance of, especially, American economic leadership, one which paralleled its political leadership. It also examines the renewed claims since the 1980s that increasing global interdependence can be demonstrated empirically to encourage global peace and that liberal (economic as well as political) democracies do not go to war with each other. During the inter-war period liberal internationalism was the main victim of the disillusionment felt about Versailles. The bedrock of liberal belief before 1914 in the benefits of economic 'interdependence' is best illustrated by Norman Angell's The Great Illusion, a ringing denunciation of the 'futility' of war in a world of trading nations.

in Failed imagination?
Andrew Williams

This chapter is an attempt to present a genealogy of the idea of self-determination as it is demonstrated in the record of the first and second new world orders (NWOs). It shows the relationship of those historical musings to the current debate during the third and current NWO. The 1920s and 1930s saw a host of attempted revisions of the issues raised by the issue of self-determination at the Paris Peace Conference. The ideas of human rights and self-determination were and are inextricably linked as part of the 'Enlightenment/Romantic Project' to liberate humankind from the fetters of feudalism, ignorance and oppression. The democratic conception of self-determination will not bring human rights to the population in the way intended by Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt.

in Failed imagination?